Guidance for schools, universities and colleges on accessing the right technology systems to support students remotely and in the learning environment.

Following the government guidance on the wider opening of schools from 1 June, and enquiries we’ve had from customers across the education sector about technology requirements for the new term in September, we wanted to let you know how we can support you moving forward. 

We can help you put the right technology systems in place to support students remotely for those remaining at home and in the learning environment, including using technology to enable social distancing. Below we’ve outlined the areas we can help you with.

Broadband connectivity

Is your broadband slow or struggling to maintain a good connection when joining online conference calls? Lot 3 for Broadband Services on the Education Technology framework can help you to ensure you have a good connection speed, and also help ensure your students are safe online with broadband solutions tailored to the sector. You will need to run a further competition for this, guidance for which can be found in the documents section on the framework page.

Remote learning platforms for schools

Did you know that you might be eligible for a grant from the Department of Education (DfE) for a remote learning platform?

Schools who are either partially provisioned or who don’t have access to a learning platform may be eligible for funding to help implement one. This can be either Microsoft Office 365 Education or Google Suite for Education. The procurement is being led by DfE using Education Technology, which means you can use your preferred supplier from the framework. Find out more and confirm if you are eligible.

IT hardware (including audio visual equipment for video conferencing)

With some students returning and others remaining at home, you may want to consider:

  • Do you have enough IT hardware? 
  • Are you looking at replacing/upgrading your existing IT ready for the new school term in September? 
  • Do you still require IT for disadvantaged pupils whilst at home?

If you need IT with a quick turnaround you can use our online catalogue which covers lot 4 for Hardware lot 5 for Audio Visual on the Education Technology framework. The online catalogue can help you buy products such as laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, IT accessories, networking, interactive whiteboards, digital signage, video conferencing equipment and much more. To use this route, simply register as a buyer, then you can search for your IT product (including stock levels from each supplier), click and buy in 3 simple steps. 

If you have a larger project, you can conduct a further competition to ensure you are getting value for money and products that are fit for the school, colleges or university’s requirements. We have a dedicated commercial agreement manager that can help and support you on your journey. To get in touch, email info@crowncommercial.gov.uk.

Further guidance for using the online catalogue and for running a further competition can be found in the documents section on the framework page.

In addition to the above, Education Technology agreement can also support you if you need managed services.

Buying software and hardware?

If you need a full solution including hardware and software, for video conferencing for example, you will need to use lot 1 for Hardware, Software and Associated Services on the Technology Products and Associated Services framework. You can either run a further competition (inclusive of price and quality weightings) or a simplified further competition (price only weightings) for this. Guidance on both buying processes can be found in our customer guidance document.

We’re here to help

For more information on Education Technology, or any of our technology frameworks, you can visit the framework page or email info@crowncommercial.gov.uk to speak to one of our team.